Karen El-Chaar of Allentown has been elected president of the board of directors of the Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association, the parent of public radio station WDIY-88.1 FM in Bethlehem.

El-Chaar, who is employed as executive director of Friends of the Allentown Parks, previously served as vice president of the association’s board. She succeeds Mike Kraynak of Center Valley (Knoll Inc.), who led the organization for four years.

WDIY celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015 and closed the year with a three-fold increase in its transmitting power. The station’s signal, which had been limited to the Lehigh Valley, now reaches from Clinton, New Jersey, to the Reading area.

El-Chaar said, “Thanks to our power increase, WDIY is on the verge of a new era. We have an opportunity not only to reach new listeners, but to provide a stronger, clearer signal for our local audience.”

Other officers elected by the board include Charles James of Bethlehem (St. Luke’s University Health Network) and Atty. Donald Miles of Bethlehem, who will serve as vice presidents. Re-elected as officers were treasurer Michelle Bitner of Zionsville (Campbell, Rappold & Yurasits) and secretary Geoffrey Chambers of Whitehall (Sungard K- 12).

Elected to new two-year terms as directors were Mitch Hanna of Allentown (City Center Lehigh Valley); Rob Stevens of Allentown (Lehigh Valley Hospital Network); Kamran Afshar of Bethlehem (Kamran Afshar Associates Inc.); Carole Moretz of Bethlehem (Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, retired); Mike Riess of Bethlehem (Interprovincial Board of Communication, Moravian Church in North America); Eric Rusack of Bethlehem (Dun & Bradstreet); and Waldemar Vinovskis of Macungie (Concordia Lutheran Church).

Continuing to serve as directors are Vickie Breiner of Allentown (Quakertown School District); Joe Cassano of Center Valley (Lucent Technologies, retired); John Dodds of Coopersburg (Air Products & Chemicals, Inc.); Dave Fry of Bethlehem (self-employed musician); and Paola Mattera of Orefield. The station’s staff of six employees is led by executive director Wagner Previato.

Directors who are retiring from the board after completing their terms are Paul Eifler of Allentown; Mona Rodriguez of Bethlehem and Kraynak.

WDIY has over 140 volunteers, about 90 of whom host on-air programs. The station’s schedule includes national news and entertainment from the NPR network, locally-produced public affairs shows, and a wide range of music, including classical, album-oriented rock, folk, blues, jazz, and world music.


Press Release Provided By:

Shamus McGroggan